Place Your Bets: Week 3

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Sep 16, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates after throwing a screen pass for a touchdown during the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

Week three of the NFL season is upon us, teams are starting to show their true colors and this is when many sports betting enthusiasts start to take a stab at winning some easy money. Well, it’s really not quite an easy science after all and Vegas odds-makers always seem to be one step ahead of everyone.

This article will go through all 16 NFL games this week and determine which bet is most likely the safest to play based upon the teams involved. The choices, as always, are either taking the team that is giving points, the team that is getting points, the over, or the under. Let’s see if we can one up those odds-makers as we pick apart each matchup to determine the best gamble for your dollar.

Thursday, September 20th

New York Giants (+2.5) @ Carolina Panthers (-2.5) O/U 49.5

This game features two teams that have been powerhouses offensively as Eli Manning is coming off of a game in which he threw for over 500 yards and Cam Newton is starting to duplicate his rookie season again. However, both teams have very porous defenses and this is a deadly combo. Scoring in this game should happen early and often and lead changes could happen plenty of times. The spread is tough to gauge, but the over seems like a good bet on this one.

Bet: Over 49.5

Sunday, September 23rd

St. Louis Rams (+9) @ Chicago Bears (-9) O/U 43

The Bears got off to a hot start against the transitioning Colts, but fell flat against their rival Packers a week later as Jay Cutler could not seem to hit the ocean from the beach. The Rams have a much improved team this season and a strong defense. Sam Bradford seems to be getting back in his groove after an injury plagued 2011 season. This game should end up being close, but no matter who wins, the Rams will be within 9 points of the Bears when it is all said and done.

Bet: Rams +9

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+8) @ Dallas Cowboys (-8) O/U 46

Both of these teams are more than capable of putting up their fare share of numbers.Tampa Bay has a revamped offense that seems to be in a shootout every single week. Dallas is equally as talented on offense led by Tony Romo who is having an impressive season. Neither team is very strong on the defensive side of the ball, but that could be misleading. Both teams have a solid pass rush that could slow down opposing offenses. The first thought is to take the over in this game, but upon further review, this should be another close game between these two teams. Either team has a good shot at winning this game which is why it’s good to go with an eight point underdog.

Bet: Buccaneers +8

San Francisco 49ers (-6.5) @ Minnesota Vikings (+6.5) O/U 43

The 49ers have proven to be one of the leagues most elite teams on the defensive side of the ball. Their offense has also taken a step forward from last season as Alex Smith continues to develop. Minnesota is still in a transition period and star running back Adrian Peterson does not seem to be 100% yet. It doesn’t look like the Vikings will be able to keep it close in this one.

Bet: 49ers -6.5

Detroit Lions (-3.5) @ Tennessee Titans (+3.5) O/U 47

The Titans have not looked like an impressive team this season especially when running back Chris Johnson only has a total of 21 yards rushing for the year. They will face a high powered Lions offense with Matt Stafford looking to rebound after last week’s awful outing. It doesn’t seem like Tennessee will be able to keep it close enough to warrant any consideration in this match up.

Bet: Lions -3.5

Cincinnati Bengals (+3) @ Washington Redskins (-3) O/U 48.5

This figures to be a close game any way you look at it. Both of these teams are decimated on the defensive side of the football and both teams have very sturdy offenses that are capable of putting up a good deal of points. Washington will be able to roll over the Bengals porous secondary and linebackers, and Cincinnati will be able to take advantage of mismatches against a weak Washington secondary and the loss or Brian Orakpo. There will be a good amount of points scored in this bout.

Bet: Over 48.5

New York Jets (-2.5) @ Miami Dolphins (+2.5) O/U 40

The Jets have had a good game and a terrible game this season thus far. The only consistent factor seems to be a pretty stout defense. They really missed Darrelle Revis last week but they should rebound over a young Dolphins offense that is struggling to score points. The Jets run defense should keep Reggie Bush contained for the most part and should be victorious by a decent margin in this one.

Bet: Jets -2.5